Samsung Pay adds support for low-cost international remittances

Samsung Pay starts overseas remittance service in 17 countries — Pulse — “Samsung Pay users can now wire money [internationally] through their mobile phones and save in fees compared to sending money overseas via a conventional remittance route… The beta service will be available in 17 countries including the United States, China, and Japan. The company plans to gradually expand the service to other countries as well as add more partners.”



Chinese shopping street adopts face recognition payments

China’s first facial recognition payment-based shopping street opens in Wenzhou — ECNS — “A historical shopping street in Wenzhou City, Zhejiang Province, has become the first in China to extensively apply facial recognition in making payments… Mao Xinqin, director of the street’s administration, said facial recognition payments can improve efficiency during the peak season for tourism and shopping. Yang Peng, vice president of Ant Financial, said Alipay has upgraded the payment system using a 3D structured light camera and can ensure accuracy of 99.99%.”


Chinese mobile payment users set to double by 2023

Mobile payments market in China is expected to witness three-fold growth with doubling of active mobile payment users by 2023 — Frost & Sullivan — “The market of mobile payments services in China is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 21.8% from 2017 to 2023, growing three-fold from US$29.93 trillion to US$96.73 trillion. The total number of active mobile payment customers is expected to reach 956 million by 2023 from 562 million in 2017 which will attract additional investments from mobile payments market participants.”


Didi Chuxing expands into financial services

Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing enters financial services amid profit push — South China Morning Post — “The new offering, which Didi introduced on Wednesday, includes mutual protection and crowdfunding products for critical illnesses, credit and lending, wealth management and auto-financing services… Didi’s foray into financial services is part of its effort to build a ‘more connected ecosystem’ with reliable and competitive services, according to a company spokesman.”


Tencent connects car registrations to WeChat Pay for pay-by-plate parking at 1,000 Chinese shopping malls

WeChat Pay launches auto scan-and-pay for parking in China’s shopping malls — South China Morning Post — “To be part of this system, car owners must register their plate numbers under their WeChat Pay accounts. Their plates are scanned by specially set-up cameras located at the exit points of car parking sites. The artificial intelligence-based system automatically matches the captured image of the plate number with a database of WeChat Pay users to determine the corresponding account and settle the parking fees.”


Alipay offers POS terminals that combine face recognition with QR payments

Alipay Box to utilize facial recognition tech for payments — Shine — “Alibaba’s financial and payment affiliate Ant Financial has released smart payment hardware called Alipay Box, integrating barcode scanning and facial recognition features… The plug-and-play device, which is smaller than a traditional self-service point of sale (POS) machine, does not require an overhaul of the merchants’ existing enterprise resource planning (ERP) system.”




Asian carriers begin rollout of cross-border mobile payments service

Singtel and AIS debut Via, Asia’s first cross-border mobile payment alliance — Singtel — “The Via alliance is the first initiative of its kind to connect both telco and non-telco mobile wallets across borders to create a region-wide payment network that will enable consumers to use their local mobile wallets when travelling. The Singtel Group will progressively expand this alliance to include other regional associates Airtel in India, Globe in the Philippines, Telkomsel in Indonesia, working within each country’s regulations, and non-telcos including China’s Ping An eWallet.”


Tencent uses face recognition to verify the age of mobile game players

Honour of Kings uses facial recognition to check ages — BBC — “The mobile app resembles League of Legends and pits players against each other in multiplayer online battles set in a fantasy world. Under pressure from local regulators, Tencent introduced restrictions in July 2017 to limit under-12s to one hour of gameplay a day and 13- to 18-year-olds to a maximum of two hours. Last month, the company added a real-name registration system to encourage players to keep to the rules.”


Micro loans let Chinese consumers buy snacks and lipsticks on credit

Chinese millennials are buying hamburgers on instalment, fuelling micro loan industry — South China Morning Post — “A small layer cake can be had for as low as 0.46 yuan per month for three years, or there’s lipstick for only 1.93 yuan (3 US cents) per month for two years. Interest rates differ based on the product price and repayment period but some loans are offered interest free.”


Beijing to pilot face recognition payments at railway ticketing barriers

Facial recognition ticket gates to be introduced this year — Metro Report International — “The gates offer two operating modes. In the first, a passenger’s photo is stored on a physical ticket, and when the passenger touches in at the ticket gate this photo is compared with a live image… In the other mode, a live image is compared with a photo previously uploaded to a database, so no physical ticket is needed. This offers operators the ability to block specified people from entering the network.”


Huami includes NFC for travelcards, payments and access control in $116 budget smartwatch

Huami announces launch of new Amazfit Verge smartwatch — Huami — “Digital wallet functionality in conjunction with UnionPay and Alipay, combined with integrated one-touch public transportation payment in over 160 cities in China, [helps] users capture the convenience of full digital transactions (through NFC and QR codes). The Verge can be also used as entrance access device utilising NFC technology.”


Xiaomi to ship $29 fitness tracker with support for Mi Pay NFC payments

Xiaomi Mi Band 3 NFC version to go on sale on September 19; Total wearable sales exceed 50m — Gizmochina — “The company has officially confirmed that it will begin the sales of the Mi Band 3 NFC edition starting from Sept 19 with a price tag of 199 Yuan (US$29 approx)… Apart from supporting contactless payment POS terminals enabled with NFC, the Mi Band 3 NFC version will support city bus card payments in [as] many as 167 cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Wuhan, Tianjin, Shijiazhuang, Suzhou, Hefei, Xi’an, and Jilin among others in China.”


Chinese banks report 73% growth in mobile payment transactions

Mobile payment on fast growth in China — Xinhua — “The country’s banks processed 14.92bn mobile payment transactions in Q2, up 73% year on year, according to the People’s Bank of China. The value of these transactions totalled 62.88tn yuan (US$9.15tn), up 60% year on year… Online payment transaction value by non-banking institutions totalled 48.29tn yuan in Q2, up 53.35% year on year.”




Central bank tightens rules on accepting cards and cash in Chinese stores

As China goes increasingly cashless, PBOC says cash payment is still alive — South China Morning Post — “The central bank in China, the world’s largest mobile payment market, is urging individuals and companies to not refuse or discriminate against cash payment… The PBOC said cash should be accepted alongside the debit card at all business outlets, with the exception of e-commerce and unstaffed stores. Businesses have one month from Friday to make necessary adjustments to avoid being investigated for breaches by the authorities.”


Marriott to let Chinese guests use face recognition to check in to its hotels

Joint venture of Alibaba Group and Marriott International trials facial recognition check-in technology — Marriott International — “The pilot will kick off from July 2018 at two Marriott International properties in China — Hangzhou Marriott Hotel Qianjiang and Sanya Marriott Hotel Dadonghai Bay, with the goal of global rollout across Marriott International’s properties in the future… Chinese guests simply need to scan their IDs, take a photo and input contact details on a self-help machine. The intelligent device will then dispense room key cards after identities and booking information are verified.”


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